pvMB 3/26/19: SunPower repeats as commercial champs, Arkansas’ solar strides… and more!


SunPower remained the #1 C&I solar provider in 2018 – Folks, we’ve got a repeat on our hands, because SunPower has defended it title, ending 2018 as America’s top commercial solar provider as well as a top residential panel supplier. This distinction is thanks to the 1.6 GW  commercial solar installed base that the company has nationally. Even more impressive is that eight of the top 10 American corporate solar buyers are SunPower customers. Source: SunPower


BNEF names Sunfolding as a New Energy Pioneer – At the BNEF Summit in New York, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) has chosen its 2019 New Energy Pioneers, naming tracker maker Sunfolding among the 10 companies to receive this recognition. In announcing the award, BNEF cited faster installation and lower cost of the company’s motor-free trackers. Source: BNEF


Duke Energy Florida announces plans for three plants, 195 MW in total – While not anticipating the historic development of their in-state rivals, Florida Power and Light, Duke Energy Florida is stepping up its development game, announcing plans to develop three solar plants totaling 195 MW in capacity. The project trio will be comprised of The 45 MW Lake Placid Solar Power Plant in Highlands County, the 75 MW Trenton Solar Power Plant in in Gilchrist County and the 74.5 MW DeBary Solar Power Plant in Volusia County. The first two are anticipated to be completed in December, while the DeBary Plant is set to go live in just under a year. Furthermore, Duke Energy Florida is investing roughly $1 billion to build or buy 700 MW of solar facilities through 2022. Source: Duke Energy Florida


Sunrun: Innovate and Decarbonize – Along with CEO Lynn Jurich’s remarks at the BNEF Summit in New York City, Sunrun is releasing a new Sunrun report: We Can Decarbonize Rapidly: How Consumers Are Making It Happen. The report details how home solar and battery systems can help create a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system. Source: Sunrun


Mad Mole becomes Wilmington’s first solar brewery – First opened in 2018, Mad Mole Brewery in Wilmington, North Carolina have followed in the footsteps of our friends at Ska Brewery in Colorado and made the switch to solar power. The 65 panels cover about ⅓ of Mad Mole’s electricity use. While Mad Mole is the only solar-powered brewery in its area, more and more businesses are adopting solar, so that claim could well be broken soon. Source: WECT


Coal helped create the rural solar co-op boom – In 2014, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association studied what some of its members saw as a touchy subject: local electricity powered by the sun… Only 20 percent of its 42 million members seemed interested in having more solar power. But things began to change quickly… One co-op based in Taos, N.M., waged a yearlong struggle with its wholesale co-op supplier, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association Inc. of Westminster, Colo., to break its contract and replace it with a commercial power provider and a community-wide solar program.” Source: Scientific American


Arkansas making solar strides –  Aside from North Carolina and Georgia, the South has not been a leading region for solar deployment, but when progress is had, recognition is to be given. Arkansas has added 117 MW of solar capacity since 2017. That may not be a big volume in relation to the state’s overall generation fleet, but it represents a 552% increase over previous marks, and the emergence of a solar industry that now houses 369 jobs. The future of the state is bright, too, as it has its first large-scale solar + storage project on the way and just recently passed Senate Bill 145, which will allow third-party leasing of solar equipment under the state’s net metering program. Source: Bristol Herald Courier


Underscoring the larger changes in the power system, the last large coal plant in New England is now a thing of the past:


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